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A3 sized PDF from InDesign

Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Using a macbook pro, OS 11.5.2, Acrobat Pro DC 2021

 

I am designing a book in InDesign. The size of the book is 6" x 8.5" (12" x 8.5" for a spread). I want to print out some pages from the book at a local convenience store using their copy machine. The spreads with cut lines will fit nicely on a A3 size sheet.

 

If I simply export the ID file as a PDF when I use the copy machine, it expands and fills the A3 paper. There is no way on these machines to set the scale.

 

If I open the PDF with Mac Preview, choose Print, set the page size as A3, then choose Save as PDF, I get a PDF with the spreads and cut lines centered in the middle of an A3 sized sheet. Perfect.

 

Is it possible to do this same thing within InDesign? To export spreads from my book directly into a PDF that is formatted at A3 page size?

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021
"Is it possible to do this same thing within InDesign? To export spreads from my book directly into a PDF that is formatted at A3 page size?" Yes. People will jump all over this, but use the Print Booklet to PS and Distill route. You can predfine a Print Preset to an A3 size, and use that in that workflow. Considering this is not a high-quality printer you are dealing with, the "cons" of this route are not that critical. I can send you more detailed instructions if you'd like. -Brad

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Explorer , Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021
Unfortunately, if I try to Print Booklet to PS, the print settings in which I should be able to choose the page size are greyed out and unusable.  see attached. Marks and Bleeds are usuable but not Setup.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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OK. A couple of things:

 

When you print your PDFs to your multifunction copy machine, are you using Adobe Acrobat? Or is the multifunction device using some kind of direct printing function from the desktop/file manager? You have much more control over how you print your PDFs running through Adobe Acrobat.

 

1a.jpg

 

When printing from Acrobat, the default setting for the Page Sizing & Handling radio buttons is set for Fit. That ensures you get the entire page printed on each sheet to its maximum dimension within the printing margins. Generally that's a good thing. But if you absolutely want to print it at its actual, 100% size, you want to change your setting to the Actual size radio button. That guarantees nothing will translate the size of your original layout and you should get the results you expect.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Hi Randy,

 

As I wrote in my question, "I want to print out some pages from the book at a local convenience store using their copy machine." So I put the PDF I made from InDesign onto a USB media stick and take it to the store. There is no control of size and scale on the copy machine.

 

The PDF made from InDesign automatically fills up the A3 page. If I reformat that PDF with Preview, however, I get the spreads and crop lines properly sized in the center of an A3 sheet. (see attached) I can reformat the PDF with Preview because I can use the Print function to choose a paper size through page setup and then do a "Save to PDF." I cannot do this in Adobe Acrobat Pro. It does not allow the Print function to use Save as PDF.

 

My question was, is there a way, within Adobe Acrobat Pro to reformat a PDF so it is properly sized for an A3 sheet?

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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I should have written:   My question was, is there a way, within InDesign to reformat a PDF so it is properly sized for an A3 sheet?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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What's your page setup now? Check File>Document Setup and please share the settings you currently have for your InDesign pages.

 

The process you describe was kinda why I asked about if you were using a specific printer function. It sounds like you are, and that limits your options. And introduces a little bit of risk.

 

You could well have your document set up for perfect A3-sized output. But when you create the PDF with crop marks, your new output size becomes A3 plus the bleed area for the crop marks. So that makes the PDF output page A3-sized plus 30-50 mm to incorporate your crop and gutter marks to print the job.

 

Even worse, it distorts page geometry that puts your page margins inside the page within new margins to incorporate the crop and gutter marks to make the effective size even larger when you plug in that USB stick. Since the copy machine probably has that "Fit" setting like Acrobat built in by default — because for most folks, it's more important to make sure that the whole page prints out from that kiosk than the correct-sized page — you're built to lose here.

 

Here's where the trust, and the risk, comes in. Build your PDFs without the crop and gutter marks. That means the size of the PDF page will be the same A3-sized page output from your nearby copy machine. You won't have the crop or gutter marks. You'll have to trust your eyes and your hands to determine where you fold your spreads. But the page geometry will be sized more like you'd expect.

 

Try this on a couple of sample pages, and let us know if this works for you. I'm hopeful that it will, and that you'll be past the problem.

 

Good luck,

 

Randy

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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As I wrote in my original quesstion, the size of the book in InDesign is 6" x 8.5" (12" x 8.5" for a spread).

 

I do not want to change the setup in ID to A3 size, I want to print out samples of spreads on A3 paper. In order to do that, I need to format the PDF to A3 size. I can do that in Preview because the Print > Save to PDF function lets me choose a paper size for the PDF. I am trying to find out if it can be done directly in ID.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Well then you're adding one more variable to resize your page differently than you want.

 

You can get roughly what you want by "Printing" your PDF with the Adobe PDF "Printer." Rather than creating a PDF directly from InDesign, which is very dependent on document page geometry, you Print with the Adobe PDF printer driver and specify the sheet you want to print it on.

 

Here's how:

 

  1. Select File>Print... from the pull down menus. This opens the Print dialog box.
  2. Select Adobe PDF in the Printer: options box.
  3. Select the Setup option in the list box to the left of the dialog box.
  4. In the Setup section, select A3 in the Paper Size: options box. This sets the output page size.
  5. Select the Marks and Bleeds option in the list box to the left of the dialog.
  6. In the Marks section, select the Crop Marks check box.
  7. Select the General option in the list box to the left of the dialog.
  8. Select the Spreads radio button to print your reader's spreads.
  9. Click the Print button.This opens the Save PDF File As dialog box
  10. Navigate to where you want your PDF file created and name it what you want.
  11. Click the Save button.
  12. Put the file on your USB stick and take it to your convenience store. Cross your fingers and toes and see what you get.

 

Good luck.

 

Randy

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Unfortunately, in my Print dialogue I do not have a choice for Adobe PDF (see attached). Only the small printer in my office and PostScript.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Your suggestion looked promising but, unfortunately, my acrobat does not offer the option of "Repair Installation" under the Help menu for some reason. See attached screenshots.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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"Is it possible to do this same thing within InDesign? To export spreads from my book directly into a PDF that is formatted at A3 page size?"

 

Yes.

People will jump all over this, but use the Print Booklet to PS and Distill route.

You can predfine a Print Preset to an A3 size, and use that in that workflow.

Considering this is not a high-quality printer you are dealing with, the "cons" of this route are not that critical.

I can send you more detailed instructions if you'd like.

 

-Brad

 

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Unfortunately, if I try to Print Booklet to PS, the print settings in which I should be able to choose the page size are greyed out and unusable.  see attached. Marks and Bleeds are usuable but not Setup.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 12, 2021 Sep 12, 2021

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You need to select a PPD instead of Device Independent that supports an A3 size or a custom size . Better yet, find the Adobe 9 PPD here (search the forum and you'll find the link ... install that!)

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Explorer ,
Sep 12, 2021 Sep 12, 2021

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Thank you roaring mouse.

 

With the PPD you recommended installed, I was able to work through the printing process and get ID to create a PS file, and then Distiller to turn that PS into a PDF. 

 

It works!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 12, 2021 Sep 12, 2021

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You may not be out of the woods yet. If that copier wants to fit all the PDF into the printable margins, even your new A3 document might get REDUCED a few %.  Something to watch for.

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 12, 2021 Sep 12, 2021

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Agreed, that could happen. For the purpose I have in mind, a few % won't matter.

 

Thanks for the tip.

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